Great Wall's Great Start in Australia

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HOMEBUSH, Australia, 21. Aug, 2009 -- Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was the Great Wall of China – but the Great Wall Motor Company has moved quickly to build a firm foothold in Australia.

Two Great Wall twin cab utilities were launched onto the Australian and New Zealand markets in late June, and since then they have been selling as quickly as they can be supplied. The entry level SA220 is priced at $19,990 while the up-market 2WD V240 is $23,990 on road, add $3000 to that if you want the 4WD version.

Official VFACTS industry figures show Great Wall achieved 274 retail sales in July, but a spokesman for Ateco Automotive, the importer of Great Wall, has advised that dealers actually took more than 300 new orders during their first full trading month.

That result is encouraging for Great Wall. Particularly, considering the light commercial vehicle segment was down 30% in July. This follows the end of financial year rush to take advantage of the Government tax concession that allowed some businesses to claim up to 50% depreciation of an eligible vehicle’s cost in the first year. That opportunity remains open until December 31 this year for businesses with turnover of under $2 million per annum.

Dealer feedback suggests that the combination of high-end features such as leather trimmed seats along with ultra competitive pricing is a real dealmaker.

Great Wall launched with 43 dealers in Australia and six in New Zealand, but the dealer network is growing as Ateco works steadily through its appointment processes. The greatest short-term challenge facing existing Great Wall dealers is finding stock for their showrooms as they meet and exceed sales targets months ahead of expectations.

Great Wall availability is expected to improve soon as increased orders of freshly produced vehicles enter the country, while dealer willingness to embrace a forward ordering system has helped Ateco to better match supply to actual individual model demand

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